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10 Things to Consider Before Buying Procurement Software: Part 2

Tuesday we looked at the first 5 things to consider and today we will finish out the list.

6. Is the Software Scalable?

We all know the rapid rate of change for software. You buy a laptop with the best specs and a year or two later and it has no room left on the harddrive, it is too slow, the latest software is too large or your laptop is not powerful enough to make full use of its capabilities. How well will your procurement software handle changing needs of your business? Can you customize and change the software as your business grows over the next couple of years? You want software that can grow with your needs, not software where you jump through hoops, extensive training, connectivity to your other systems, only to need replaced a year or two down the road because you’ve outgrown it.

 

7. Is the Software Customizable?

It is rare that software meets your exact needs right out of the box. Some amount of customization is to be expected. Can the software be customized or will you have to make due or use workarounds to get it to accomplish what you need for your business. Is this something you’ll have to accomplish on your own or does the software provider offer customization as part of the setup. If so, is that included in the cost or is customization an extra charge? As a general rule of thumb, customization should be more that one-third of what you have spent for buying procurement software. So before buying the software considers the factors of partnering with softer developers, outsourcing, and in-house development to achieve the level of customization you need.

 

8. What Installation Challenges can be Expected?

No matter how advanced the software and experienced the provider, there are likely to be some challenges or obstacles faced during the installation. Having done a number of installations, the company should also be able to warn you of potential challenges. But don’t let this be a cause for concern. This should be considered a good thing. Companies that track these challenges can research to find better ways to overcome and bypass these challenges in the future.

 

9.  What Support is Available?

Whether you buy from a company in town or on the other side of the world has an impact on the type of support available, but it shouldn’t affect the ability of the company to provide the support you need. Be aware of the support that is offered, whether it is in person, on-site, phone, or email. Basically you want to know what to do when problems arise. Can you get someone on the phone immediately or will you need to submit a trouble ticket and wait for a response? What is the typical response time? Is after-hours support available?

 

10.  What Features have been Requested?

Ask if they have a list of features requested from other clients. If they do that will give you some idea of areas of use that may be missing once you get into it. It can help you plan your business, but also give you an idea of what may be coming as well.

January 15, 2015
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BY Bellwether
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